To counter rising fish prices and falling fish stocks, the Kenyan government has started a scheme to help fish farmers set up their own ponds. This has helped hundreds of farmers to start fish farming businesses - but many still lack the equipment, feed and technical knowledge that they need for their ponds to thrive in the long term.
Farm Africa has been supporting this scheme by establishing a network of aqua shops, which are an invaluable source of quality support and training for Kenya’s new fish farmers.
We are helping entrepreneurs in five counties in western Kenya (Kakamega, Kisumu, Vihiga, Busia and Kisii) to set up their own aqua shops, so that they can provide local smallholders with inputs and technical advice on best aquaculture practices.
The project has grown significantly since it was set up in 2011, with 56 shops set up in five years, benefitting over 7,500 farmers and increasing their incomes by 63%. Sales of fish have increased through a partnership with digital platform Esoko, which connects farmers with traders online, and is also used to send technical tips to farmers via text message.
Building on this success, Farm Africa recently received a new grant from the Ford Foundation to allow us to expand our network of aqua shops to new areas, providing a further 3,000 farmers with training and the technical and financial support they need to set up successful and sustainable fish farms.